"Immortal Beloved..." XCVIII..

.

A shortie..

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's...

Spoilers for Angel to the bitter end...Flee at once!...

Summary: The usual-One of (98 now) multiple versions of the outcome from "Girl in Question" or further in Angel S5 to "Not Fade Away..."

Archived at the 'Normal' Buffyverse page of the Buffy Rebecca verse at -<https://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/index.html> , scroll down to "Immortal Beloved" series...

***

Downtown LA...About 1 am...

A slight man of about late twenties in appearance staggered down a street which clearly had been visited by some mammoth catastrophe...The long-heralded 'Big One' at last, perhaps?...

There were certainly the vast cracks and gaping holes in the boulevard in front and behind him, the badly-damaged buildings...In particular, the shattered Wolfram-Hart Tower building behind him, the broken gas mains on fire, the broken and spouting water mains, the mass of debris...Destroyed cars, steel and concrete torn from various buildings, and above all, glass everywhere, the wailing alarms...Though mercifully far fewer in number than a few minutes ago, to lead an observer to that surmise...

And the to be expected piles of corpses and broken, torn bodies about...

Though perhaps, rather strange bodies for the overwhelming part...More animal than human in appearance...And odd animal at that...As if perhaps a great metropolitan zoo had been the epicenter of the disaster...

Yet the young-looking, battered man looked anything but a zoo keeper...

He paused...Listening and tensing at the sound around him...A howling vortex of cries, yells, alarms, explosions...Some uncomfortably near, and off, in the distance, the thin wailing of long-delayed rescue vehicles, fire, police... That his intense concentration on matters at hand until just moments ago had forced away from his consciousness, excepting those sounds...War cries, shrieks of rage, the sound of charging feet or hooves...Which had formed a part of those matters...

And now that he could hear the other sounds about him...He realized there were people in the area...Human as opposed to that which was strewn about him in the street...

And mostly, women, judging by the voices...

Women?...A jolt of pure, incandescent joy hit him...Even as did the pain of his many injuries which, like the extraneous sounds, he'd kept from his consciousness during the chaotic time which seemed now to be gradually ending...

As he collapsed, a momentarily concern for his new and fairly expensive jacket leading him to angle his fall away from a particularly bloody...Green blood at that...corpse, in favor of a hit to the hard street, the thought flamed in his mind...

She's here...She came...

She came...Darkness closing in as someone...Nope, something...Slammed down on him...Apparently anxious to make assurance double sure...

***



"Hey?..." a sharp voice called, shoving away the dark…He looked wearily up to see a short young blonde woman in dark glasses and leopard-spotted fake fur-trimmed leather coat…Spiky heels…

Buffy?...he whispered, staring…

"Get off…" she shoved the large demon crushing his chest back and skewed him on a long pole she snatched up from the rubble in the street…

"God, where'd they get that one…Whata clodhopper...Didn't even have the brains to get when the getting's good..." A harsh NYC accent…

Nope, not Buffy…he sighed…

But at least…Without doubt a Slayer…

"You William?..." she eyed him where he lay on the ground…Bleeding from about as many areas as he could ever remember having bled from…He started to nod…

Yeah…she smiled faintly…Pulling glasses to reveal a face that startled him in its essential, though not quite, Buffiness…Even something of her manner, he noted...

"I recognized you…Got her memories of ya, ya know?…Though you've looked bettah if I remember right…" a grin which he feebly returned…Yeah…He moved a bit as if to rise but she knelt by him…

"Don't strain yourself…Things are settling down…"

"Angel…The others…"

"The big guy's ok, just down the street with some of the other girls…So's the blue freak…er sorry…Your pal, I mean…And the black guy's on his way to LA General…One of the girls here's a nurse, she thinks he'll make it…"

"Great…" he tried to rise again…She holding him back…Whoa, boy… "Almost nobody left to fight William, don't go getting yourself dusted now…"

…When you got me to live for…she smiled at him…A slight blush visible now even with the poor lighting and what he could now see was rather heavy make-up…

"By the way…Stella Marcus…Vamp Slayer…" she offered…

A cry moving their way…He looked and tried to sit up as two new figures…Likewise short, likewise blonde…

And again something in their manner…That for the first seconds…He could've sworn…

Or perhaps so desperately wanted to believe…he ruefully noted to himself as the two women reached them, looking at him rather anxiously…

"William?...Are you ok?..." one asking… "Is he ok?..." she looked at Stella…Who frowned…

At the extra company as much as the question?...he wondered, looking at her annoyed face…

"Hey, he's William…He's fine…"

But if three Slayers were here…And hell, there had to be lots more from the sound, he looked back up the street…Stella had said more were with Angel or engaged with the enemy…

If they were here, she had to be here…

"Is Buffy…?"



One of the newly arrived pair eyed him, then her mates, carefully… "She wanted to come…She was busy…"

"But we all came…" the third hopefully noted…

I see…he sighed involuntarily…

"The three of us…" the third of the three women continued… "And all the others who could make it…"

"Thanks…We do appreciate it, ladies…"

"We especially wanted to be here…" the second of the three smiled at him… " 'Cause we're…"

"Girls…Willy here needs some rest and a trip to LA General…" Stella cut in sternly…

"The ones who look most like her…?" he finished for the second, smiling faintly at her…

She beamed, nodding…

"Course Stella here had to dye her hair…" Glare from Stella… "And I've been on a crash diet since I was activated…Marie Brezowski, hi…"

"William…Sorry we meet under such inelegant circumstances…"

"Walthrop…" the third woman noted…He blinked at her…

"How'd you know?…Even Buffy…"

"Looked your university record up on the Net…Had to do some searchin' to correlate your record with reports on Spike's activities at the time but it wasn't all that hard…"

Mr. Walthrop…she smiled at him…

"Thanks…Nice to finally be properly introduced…Angel?..." he looked to where Angel was slowly moving to them…

Staring himself at the three Buffy-imitations as he came up…Supported by a Slayer…

Thankfully red-haired and rather un-Buffy…Spooky to think they might all be trying to ape her…

"Any word on our man Gunn?..." "He's at LA General, Illyria's on her way…The docs there think he has a good chance…"

And with our demon Queen around they'll be motivated for sure…he grinned, again eyeing the three blondes…Hey, Angel...they chorused...Hmmn…

"Well, you seem to have found yourself a bumper crop of Buffies…" he noted to William…Yeah…

"Wish she'd and Giles'd let us know they were sending help..." Angel frowned a bit...

"She knew you'd be mad about that…" Marie eyed him… "She's sorry…But you did give her the amulet…And you were workin' for Wolfram-Hart…And you didn't tell her William was back…"

Yeah…Stella and the third blonde eyeing him…A bit grimly…

As was the red-head supporting him…

"The Brooding One did what he thought was right, girls...And he did ok by me, as you see..." Will tried to rise now...

"No, William!..." the third blonde Slayer went to him...Stella, still kneeling by him turning to hold him as well... "Will ya stay down, already, William?...C'mon, we're tryin' to help ya here..."

Yeah...Marie nodded...

"Better listen to your nursing team, Will..." Angel smiled... "The thing's just about over, anyway...The Partners threw in the towel when they couldn't quite finish us and the Slayer Corps came in on them..."

"The Prussians at Waterloo..." Will grinned... "Though I like your uniforms much better, ladies..."

Thanks...A beaming chorus...Angel's red-head joining in...

"So...Buf couldn't come...The ladies say she wasn't able to make it?..."

"Really?...Well, she probably still doesn't trust either of us…" Angel frowned…His Slayer at his side looking a bit puzzled...She what?...

"But..." the red-head, one Gretchen, began...Marie coming over to her...A quick whisper...Gretchen staring at her...Marie and from her spot next to Will, Stella, and the remaining blonde, Phoebe by name, all giving her a hard and solemn look...

"Uh...Right...She couldn't come...Real busy with the Immortal I think..."

"Yeah..." Stella nodded... "I think he was taking her to Switzerland or something..."

Oh...Will nodded...Oh...a hard groan...

"We betta get ya to the ambulances back there..." Stella waved to the other three... "They'll never get through the mess here to us...Get that door over here, Pheeb..." Phoebe dragged a large metal door from the street over... "C'mon, girls...Gently..." They clustered about William and lifted him onto the door... "Ok, lift..." All grabbing a corner...William groaning...

"It's alright. William...I'm here..." All four chorusing...

"Angel...?" Gretchen now holding a corner of the door looked to him...He waved a weary hand...

"I'll be fine, get him back...Will, good job, Partner..." he called... "I expect to see you in the office Monday at 9..."

Well, maybe Tuesday...he grinned back at them...

"Monday, but 11..." Will called, a bit feebly... "I keep my own hours, Broodo...Never chain me to any..." he passed out...

"Lets go, ladies..." Stella commanded... "Angel, we'll send some of the girls and the idiot peace makers back..."

"It'll give me time to come up with some explanation..." he grinned, waving to her... "Get him back...And thanks, ladies..."

Sighing as they hurried off...And more Slayers, and indeed, the first teams of police and fire ferried by chopper over the wreckage-clogged streets began to move in about him...

She didn't come with them?...Not even for William?...Let alone...I can't believe it...he shook his head...

Maybe we should've stayed and checked her out in Rome...

"Angel!..." a fierce cry as Nina burst from the wave of Slayers hurrying down the street...

Well...he noted, rather happily...At least it seems I really do have a girlfriend...



***

"I don't know if I should go along with this..." Gretchen sighed as the four Slayers hurried a carefully covered William down a side street...Away from the ambulances and rescue crews they'd claimed to be heading for...Towards a van in an alleyway just a few blocks further...

"I was with Buffy when she boarded the plane...Everyone there saw her get on...And you were sitting next to her..." she eyed Stella...Then Marie...

"You wanna your crack at William or no?..." Stella stared at her... "Buffy's had her chance...She didn't come for him when she knew he was back...And alls fair in love and war..."

Where William is concerned...she noted...

"Yeah..." Marie and Phoebe echoed her...

"But when he sees he's not..." "We're taking him to a private hospital...Just not in LA...We'll just tell him they was too overcrowded...We stay with him there and bring him to our place to rest up and we all got a few weeks to make our cases..."

Marie's the manager there so we even got the phones set up...Stella smiled at Marie...

"Will tries to call...If he can reach a phone even...We redirect it and fake an answer..."

"...'So sorry, monsieur...Ms. Summears, she is skiing with ze Immortal and does not wish to be...How you say?...Disturbed'..." Phoebe faked a French accent...

A few weeks maybe...Likely a few days...Before Buffy comes to kill us all...Gretchen pointed out...

"She won't kill us...Dismiss us from the Corps in disgrace, maybe..." Stella waved a hand... "But this is a chance with William we're talkin' about here...A chance to make him happy...You went along with us back with Angel so you're in now for the long haul..."

Like it or no...

"Can I get a wig and some new clothes?..." "Sure...Plenty of stores near where we're taking him in San Francisco..."

And I get my fair crack at him?...To see if he'd go for me?...Gretchen eyed Stella who nodded...

"Geesh...Good thing you didn't tell more of the girls...There'd be thousands lining up..." the redhead noted...

Well, hey...It's William...Stella beamed at the unconscious William as the group turned the alleyway corner, their van waiting...

"But what about Buffy?..." Gretchen stared at the other three...Who looked at each other, Marie and Phoebe a bit sheepish...

"She's fine...Oughta be set for oh, another coupla hours at least..." Stella grinned... "Thanks to me gettin' that transfer last month to baggage at LA International...Just before I went back to England for Mr. Giles' big briefing on the Angel sit...Nobody checks that closet in baggage storage but the manager...Me..."

"And she'll hafta get out of the chains and handcuffs and find her way to a phone...Another half-hour at least...Plenty of time for us to get Will away..."

The real job was getting her to take that cargo plane instead of waitin' for a passenger jet...Phoebe noted...We never coulda got her alone and drugged her on a passenger plane...

"She oughta be proud of us...In a way..." Marie suggested... "It was her training in England that made it all possible..."

Play theme

***